Friday, September 18, 2009

Once you have reached the end, go on

I was hearing the other day about how Twitter meant the end of blogging, which made me think about how blogging was supposed to mean the end of newspapers, which segued into thoughts about how television was supposed to be the end of newspapers. That's a lot of ends, I thought. I have an end as well - it's sitting on this seat while I type this post. 

But this post is far from ended, because quite aside from television causing the end of newspapers, movies were apparently causing the end of novels and theatre, and videos were supposedly causing the end of movies, and DVDs were also causing the end of videos, and how could I not mention YouTube, which is currently ending DVDs, at least until something comes along and ends that ending. We'd been quite worried about videos causing the end of movies and movies causing an end to novels for a while - there were a whole bunch of important critical articles penned by important critics lamenting the untimely death of these cultural institutions. Unfortunately, all those articles written about the tragic demise of invaluable cultural institutions have themselves tragically demised, because we've all moved onto another tragical demise by now. 

Speaking of ends - and we were, after all - in the past century we've also welcomed in the end of history, the end of philosophy, the war to end all wars (that one happened twice), the end of art, the end of religion (this has happened numerous times), the death of God, the end of the world, the end of the Ozone layer, the end of human life as we know it, the end of the nation state, the end of globalisation, the end of money, the end of poverty, the end of riches, the end of want, the end of need, the end of democracy, the end of tyranny, and, of course, not so much the end of the end as the end of the beginning. Everything is, basically, the cause of the end of everything else, which is why everything else keeps on existing as it always existed. Just because something is ended doesn't mean it has to stop (as any good artist would be able to tell you.) 

Life is full of sadness and sorrow and pain and death, and the things of this world are transient and temporary. Everything is going to end tomorrow, but of course tomorrow is another day. I suppose it must be heroic and enobling to consider yourself the last real reader of a newspaper or the last watcher of a movie or the last authentic reader of novels. Is it any wonder, then, that all these precious cultural artefacts keep on dying around us? We like things ending so much that we keep on ending them, over and over again, in our imaginations. The end? It's more like...

The Beginning

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